Tribune photo/Joey Hedges Standing left to right Shelby’ children Micalah Lilly and Blake Lilly, sitting are her parents Monica and Charlie Browning

October 8, 2022

By Linda Ahern
Tribune Owner/Publisher

On September 29, Lee’s Summit City employees, elected officials, family and friends gathered outside City Hall to unveil a bench with a plaque that honors the memory of former employee Shelby Seiz, who passed away unexpectedly November 29, 2021.

Councilmember Fred DeMoro (District 4) spoke during the dedication. “On behalf of the city I am proud to present this bench and the accompanying plaque in the memory of Shelby Seiz. May the family of Shelby, which includes Monica, Charlie, Micalah and Blake, know that their daughter and mother left fond memories for the co-workers and friends assembled here today.”

According to City Finance Director Bette Wordelman, she and her staff also worked together to find a way to remember their co-worker in a manner that reflected her personality and her impact on them.

In addition to the bench, Wordelman and the finance department staff turned Shelby’s former workspace into a quiet place for employees to meditate and take a short break from the rigors of their day. The space now has two comfortable chairs and soft lighting and a portrait of Shelby. There are also a few personal items the family donated to the room including items the family had planned to give her last Christmas but never got the opportunity. These items include a stuffed giraffe, which Shelby collected, and a plaque that reads, “Just Breathe.”

“We still feel her warm spirit when in that space, and it inspires us to treat each other as Shelby treated each of us,” said Wordelman.

Wordelman said City employees still feel the loss. “Shelby was a major personality within City Hall. She was known for her constant smile, joyous laugh and generous spirit. She was known for decking out the office for every holiday with her massive collection of mood-elevating décor. Despite any difficulties Shelby might be going through in her life, she was always more concerned about others. She set a tremendous example for her children and her co-workers that we will always remember.”